Greek Deities

Ourea

Photograph of a mountain valley in Metsovo, Greece by Jason Blackeye via Unsplash (2016)

The Ourea were primordial Greek deities that personified the mountains. Photograph of a mountain valley in Metsovo, Greece (2016).

Jason BlackeyeUnsplash

Overview

The Ourea were primordial gods who personified the mountains. They were born to Gaia, the goddess of the earth, at the beginning of the cosmos, along with their brothers Uranus (the sky) and Pontus (the sea). But unlike Uranus and Pontus, the Ourea had no mythology; they were “clearly just a feature of the landscape.”[1]

Etymology

The name “Ourea” (Greek Οὔρεα, translit. Ourea) is simply the plural form of ouros, the Greek word meaning “mountain.” The word itself is usually thought to come from the Indo-European root *h₃er-, meaning “rise.”[2]

Pronunciation

  • English
    Greek
    OureaΟὔρεα (translit. Ourea)
  • Phonetic
    IPA
    [OOR-ee-uh]/ˈʊr i ə/

Alternate Names

The Ourea were sometimes called by their Latin name, “Montes.”

Family

According to Hesiod’s, Theogony, the Ourea were the children of Gaia (“Earth”), who gave birth to them on her own. They emerged when Gaia “brought forth long hills, graceful haunts of the goddess Nymphs who dwell amongst the glens of the hills.”[3]

Family Tree

References

Notes

  1. Timothy Gantz, Early Greek Myth: A Guide to the Literary and Artistic Sources (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993), 1:10.

  2. Robert S. P. Beekes, Etymological Dictionary of Greek (Leiden: Brill, 2009), 2:1109–10.

  3. Hesiod, Theogony 129–30, trans. H. G. Evelyn-White.

Citation

Kapach, Avi. “Ourea.” Mythopedia, March 10, 2023. https://mythopedia.com/topics/ourea.

Kapach, Avi. “Ourea.” Mythopedia, 10 Mar. 2023. https://mythopedia.com/topics/ourea. Accessed on 6 Jun. 2024.

Kapach, A. (2023, March 10). Ourea. Mythopedia. https://mythopedia.com/topics/ourea

Authors

  • Avi Kapach

    Avi Kapach is a writer, scholar, and educator who received his PhD in Classics from Brown University

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